Noem leading Varilek in poll, both candidates take it in stride - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Noem leading Varilek in poll, both candidates take it in stride

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New numbers show a widening gap in the race for South Dakota's U.S. house seat.

That poll was conducted by South Dakota-based Nielson Brothers Polling.

It shows Kristi Noem in the lead by nearly nine points... at more than 50 percent.

KSFY News  met with both sides of the race today to find out how much stock are they taking in these numbers?

The Nielson brothers poll has Kristi Noem leading Matt Varilek in the race for South Dakota's U.S. house seat, but Noem's camp is taking it in stride.

Noem's campaign manager Tom Erickson said "we don't focus too much on polls, but I think it's important to note that even a democratic polling firm has Kristi doing very well among South Dakotans voters but we're not focused on the polls, we're focused on the only one that matters, and that's the poll on election day."

The Nielson brothers say they don't chose sides though, Paul Nielson said he leans left and his brother Mark leans right so they balance out in the middle.

"We've polled statewide, we've polled citywide, we've polled even down to the ward level in rapid city and we've been very accurate in those polls. We've been tested by other polls and we've been tested by election results. And we've done generally very well with just a very few exceptions. so we think that we have shown that we're non-partisan," Nielson said.

Even though the Nielson poll shows Varilek behind Noem, the candidates actually have something they agree on, the poll itself.

Varilek said "we take all polls with a grain of salt and the bottom line is the that matters is the one on election day. We've always said we would keep on working as if we were 20 points down from the beginning and that's what we're doing."

Varilek said he's not concerned about the point spread.

"I'm an underdog and certainly knew that from the start. When you're running against someone who's in Washington, part of the leadership in the U.S. house and has a lot of money through contributions from big oil companies and so forth, I always knew I could start out behind and I would have to work hard to introduce myself" Varilek said.

Noem's campaign manager Tom Erickson said their side feels confident.

"First of all, voters recognize that Kristi Noem is doing a fantastic job in Washington as we've begun our television advertisements. I think voters are looking forward to re-electing Kristi and remembering the kind of fighter she really is," Erickson said.

Nielson said they compiled their results from calling voters across the state. About 500 voters responded to gave them their latest poll numbers.

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